An unverified leak on Twitter claims to reveal the proposed Color Rush uniforms – Tennessee will apparently be wearing red jerseys and Washington black, per the embedded link Some look good, some look bad, and there’s a heck of a lot of yellow. The idea behind Color Rush is all about money, for a start. It’s not possible for a lot of teams to wear throwback uniforms any more due to NFL rules concerning helmets. Besides, many fans already own the throwback jerseys, so this is an opportunity to add something new to the market, and in most cases it’s taking the detail colour or particular feature of the uniform, such as the flag of Maryland for Baltimore, and blowing it up across the entire uniform. These are all subject to change as per the disclaimer at the top of the paper, which was apparently released to NFL employees prior to the schedule being released. These will all be worn on Thursday Night Football matchups, although not necessarily on a Thursday night – Some will be Saturday nights or holiday games.
The Seattle uniform is set to be a luminous green, which in itself is nothing new. But it looks stunning. The Seahawks are a franchise who will sell a lot of jerseys, and the NFL have got it spot on with these, to be worn in a matchup with the Rams. It’s not hard to imagine Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman wearing it whilst taking on the royal blue clad Rams, whose own Color Rush is nothing too shabby. We saw LA in Color Rush uniforms live last year when they played against Tampa Bay in a game that was dubbed Ketchup vs. Mustard, due to the appearance on TV of the red and golden yellow. Putting the Bengals in black and white stripes is a bold move, but it’s one that should pay off. It’s a nod, apparently, to a rare white Bengal tiger that lived in Cincinnati zoo in the 1930s, and it should sell well if it’s executed properly. It should also provide something different and a touch innovative for the fans to enjoy. Somewhat like the Seahawks’ green, Miami have, in the past, worn orange. But it’s something that looks good and has been a fan favourite without necessarily being overworn.
The Patriots in red is something that usually I would be fully behind. However, the NFL stand to gain very little from putting Brady, Gronk & Co. in uniforms that are very similar to ones that fans already own, the beloved throwbacks that are now not worn thanks to the fact that the helmet is white and bears the old Pat Patriot logo. It appears purely to be a bad choice, especially when there is the option to put the Pats in silver, with red numbers and blue trim. Let me make something clear – I’m not a fan of the gold or yellow uniforms in general. But the one that makes the ‘Bad’ category is the Raiders. Who wants to see the Gold Hole? Especially when the Falcons and Eagles get silver, a colour which has been long associated with Oakland. The Falcons in silver is another which makes little sense, when the opportunity was there to return to black, and bring out the Dirty Birds fans to buy another alternate jersey.
Baltimore. Currently the jersey we know the least about. It states ‘Flag Colors TBD’ so one can imagine that it’s going to be some combination of red, yellow, white and black, and as black is already in the locker, it’s probable that red will be the color. The idea of the Ravens playing in red is not one that is likely to prove all that popular, especially with the aficionados who enjoy the purple and black aesthetic that Baltimore have rocked since they came into the league in 1996. Cleveland’s orange is another which appears too similar to the team’s normal colors, and unless they dramatically change the jersey itself one can’t see the result being anything other than the ugly garment that Browns players wear on a weekly basis. The idea behind Color Rush is to provide something different for the fans, and there’s very little different about what we’re being offered here. See also the Colts for an example of this. Finally, it’s eminently possible that putting the Houston Texans in the colors of the city’s former franchise and now divisional rival the Tennessee Titans could serve as an unwelcome reminder of when the Oilers left town. It could also be seen as reclaiming the colors. This is one that could go either way, although there are going to be collectors who would love to see Texans jerseys which pay tribute to the city’s football history. All around, Color Rush is something that’s going to happen, and fans will have to deal with it, like it or not. Some of the jerseys are going to be things of beauty, others will be aberrations. Either way, someone, somewhere, is going to buy them, and that’s the NFL’s end goal. Critics of last year’s edition abound, especially the Bills vs. Jets game which left colorblind viewers at a distinct disadvantage, and the league claims to have learned lessons from that. Although that remains to be seen, the fans will decide with their wallets whether Color Rush is an ongoing success, or a gimmick that will quickly be consigned to history.
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